Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pending Tags....

I was seriously thinking of joining the WP bandwagon for some days now. And since Swaram's awesome conversion, my mind is not at all here. It wants to be a part of WP.

We should be the change that we want to see in the world. So, I am changing to WP for experiencing the changes that I wanted so badly in Blogspot. Put it that way, I dont feel so bad.
HeHeHe, Gave a new meaning to that line, to suit me.

So, to read my pending tags by Nancy and Swaram, please visit me at

I'll be waiting there, to welcome you all to my new pages !!!!!
I am off right now, as I've some WORDs PRESSing me to publish them. See you at WP !
Also, remember to follow my blogs using my new link !!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dosa Lover

What's about this Dosa that makes me eat this wonderfully delicious crispy rice pancake, every morning without a dot of boredom ? OMG, I just love this Dosa.

Being a Tamilian, we were brought up with Idlis and Dosas, in our childhood years. WOW, it is such a amazing tasty combo of Idlis / Dosas with the awesome sambhar, especially made by mom. How much I miss my mother's sambhar made with those tiny onions (shellogs) !!!!!!

Actually there are so many varieties of Dosas we make at home and along with the tasty accompaniments like sambhar, chutneys, milagai podi*, it is sure to be a melody of tastes. Just writing about them is tempting me eat dosas again - You know, I had them for today's breakfast too.

The regular dosa can be made into so many varieties, just by changing the topping on them, like a pizza. We have the podi dosa, tomato chutney dosa, pudina chutney (mint) dosa, grated cheese dosa, onion chutney dosa... to name a few. Some people also do an egg dosa, which is sooo tasty.

When I was younger by age, I used to relish the Rava Dosa, which were my mother's speciality. And it goes very well with an awesome coconut chutney done with very hot green chillies. Those times we used to live as a joint family with my uncle and grand parents. So, we counted a little over a dozen - that's the whole family's size. For the taste of my mother's rava dosa, each one of us will surely gobble about 4 or 5 of it. So, my mother will plonk herself onto the kitchen top, sit there and nicely make the rava dosas so crisp and tasty for the hungry dozen. This rava dosa is a delicate dish, which has to be made with such care and it is a time consuming one. That is the reason that my mother chose to sit on the kitchen top, to do this tasty job.

Another favourite of mine and my daughters is the Masala Dosa, which has the potato masala in the center of the dosa. I love the way we have to roll the dosa around the masala, so that it looks like a tube filled with delicious aloo. Sometimes, it is also done in the triangular shape. Whatever shape it is, this dosa is one of the best with the sambhar and chutney.

And then there is this Methi Dosa, which is such a coolant for the stomach. Small children, breast-feeding mothers and the grandparents will all benefit from this absolutely soft, tasty and easy-to-make dosa. When we soak the rice and dhal for the dosa, the methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) are also soaked in warm water and ground with the rice and dhal to make the batter. This dosa is best done when it is fat and thick, instead of the regular crispy ones. It'll look like a sponge with lot of holes in it which is because of the fenugreek seeds added to it. Now, when the dosa is hot, just spread some ghee on it and while it is melting, sprinkle some sugar. You will be engulfed in the wonderful mixture of tastes, which I am sure about.

We also have the Dhal Dosa (adai, in Tamil), which is a delicious blend of rice and all the dhals (toor, chenna, urid ) in proportions. Such an amazing invention by our ancestors that I thank all those who were involved in this wonderful creation. The dish that'll go well with this is called the aviyal (which is a blend of vegetables cooked in coconut and green chilli paste and mixed with curd finally).

There's a saying that says that the people belonging to the banks of the River Cauveri, are those people with a impeccable taste and value for word. The human tongue performs the dual role of taste and talk. These people who have been brought up by drinking this Cauveri water are sure to keep up their words and are great foodies too. I am very proud of this fact, as I belong to one of the towns on the banks of the River Cauveri, in Tamil Nadu. I love food, particularly Dosas and I value the word very much.

Three cheers to the variety of Dosas and to all those people who make their families happy by making this wonderful Dosa.

* Milagai Podi - Roasted red chillies and dhals ground to a coarse powder. Should be mixed with ghee or til (sesame) oil for better taste.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Questionnaire on ME, again.

One more TAG for me !!!!! And thanks Swaram, for asking me to do it.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Looking at the few grey hairs, I wondered whether to put henna for my hair today or not.

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
A 500/- note and a lot of coins (Trying to be the CHANGE I want in others)

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
SOAR - As my is heart is doing right now, doing the tag. I spent a whole 1 hr on what to blog, today morning. Just at that moment I read Swaram's comment, to take up the tag. Thanks, yaar.

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Airtel Customer Care - I never answer this call, as it'll be a recorded message on some new promo or scheme.

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
A R Rehman's Nokia tune.

6. What are you wearing right now?
One silly pyjama, which is absolutely out of size but so comfy and my fav Tee.

7. Do you label yourself?
Perfect Passionate Yoga loving Feminine Chef

8. Name the brand of the shoes you currently own?
Reebok, Nike

9. Bright or Dark Room?
I prefer the bright ones, unless I've the splitting headache.

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Funny, Smiling with a great love for life.

11. What does your watch look like?
I still hold the Titan watch my S gifted me close to my heart, for my first bday after marriage. Its diamond shaped with a gold dial.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Dreaming that I was being felicitated in some grand function. But couldn't remember, when / where /why.

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
It was an order for the Tupperware business I am doing from home. My friend had smsed to order lunch boxes, fridge bottles among others.

14. What’s a word you say a lot?
Muruga Muruga or Rama Rama, but I think it'll be Thank you God.

15. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My S before leaving to office, 2day morning. He better say it everyday !!!!

16. Last furry thing you touched?
My daughter's teddy bear which she sleeps with, when I cleared her bed.

17. Favourite age you have been so far?
24 - I got engaged, painted the town red for 3 months with my S, got married and had a super duper honeymoon. Wish those days will come again.

18. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Hey Munni (my Beautician who comes home), When are you coming to put henna for my hair ?

19. The last song you listened to?
Mandram vandha thendralukku, manjam vara nenjam illayo ? kanne en kanne ..... A beautiful tamil song by S P B (Am a gr8 fan of him) in the movie Mouna Raagam.

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Hot and humid Chennai.

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Yes, all those people who flaunt their flat tummy, while I am furiously working out on it.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Not that I know of.

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
A To DO List in my mobile which stays in my pocket all the time, My favourite Titan watch, A smile and a hug for my daughters.

24. What’s your favourite town/city?
Hyderabad / Secunderabad Twin cities.

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
To LIC for change of address - not too sure. Its been a very long time....

26. Can you change the oil on a car?
Total dependency on the car mechanic.

27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Big crush was Ravi Shastri, when I was in college. It died a silent death, when I got to meet so many real men in life.

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Yeah, my right heel. Should consult a doctor.

29.What is your current desktop picture?
My hubby with a scenic backdrop - I took this picture, when we had been to Srisailam last week.

30. Have you been burnt by love?
Hurt by love, Burnt by passion.

What, is that all ? Only 30 questions ?????
Anyway, it was fun doing it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I hate these questions .....

Yesterday, I had been to the bank, to update my passbook. The man in the counter smiled at me and started making small talk with me. I didn't mind the questions which were out of my personal sphere. Then came the - Is your husband working with ..... ? What is he, in that company ? Here I am, trying to answer those questions with all the patience in the world, while he was waiting for the printer to print my account details. I was praying for the printing to be done fast, as I know the next question that was to be thrown at my direction.

Madam, Do you work ? --- Now, what kind of question is that ? I hate this question pointed at me. I get up at morning 5.15am, start packing my girls' lunch boxes as they leave at 6.45am. Then comes an array of chores like breakfast for me and S, lunch box for S, laundry, buying things for the house, banking, baking (some days), handle the maid, evening snack for the hungry girls, dinner and the list is sometimes endless. I try and catch up with my favourite Nigella's shows in between, if possible. While I slog around the house so much, I don't take it kindly to answer that question - Do you Work ? Should I answer a NO, I don't work - to this stupid question.

Just because he happened to be the person who helps me during long queues in the bank, I nodded my head both ways - up and down and side to side, totally confusing him. While he looked at me eagerly waiting for the answer, I took the passbook and escaped a verbal answer to him.

Are you employed somewhere ? sounds much better.

Another question that makes me really really irritable is - Are you a housewife ? I am totally angered by the way this society forms words in English - housewife???? grrrrrrr. To which I normally answer, I am a homemaker.

If you take up any application form in this country, there will be Name, Address. And under the heading Occupation, there will be options which has to be ticked. Options available are Employed, Housewife, Student, Others. When there is an option for employed, let the other option be Unemployed - Why degrade the 24*7 working women with a word like housewife ???? I generally choose the Others category and write Homemaker in the space provided.

If a man stays at home taking care of the house and kids, will he be branded as house husband ????? Maybe, yes, in India.

I prefer the stay-at-home Mom / Dad tag much much better than this stupid housewife thing which I am living with.

What are the questions which repel you from answering ? Do you get irritated like me ?????

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happiness Journey

As per my blogosphere friend's request, here I am, blogging about the journey of Happiness through different stages of life - as understood from Dr Deepak Chopra.

Dr Deepak Chopra specialised in internal medicine and was practising in California, before he took up Ayurveda. Further, he started concentrating more on the mind - body connections and advocates self-awareness and meditation as primary factors in both illness and healing.

There is this show in NDTV Good Times called "Happiness - A Journey with Deepak Chopra" which greatly appealed to me. And, this show is aired on Mondays & Saturdays 7.30 pm IST. Generally, 7.30pm shows in NDTV GT are about yoga, meditation and the alternate methods for peace and health.

In this series, Dr DC talks about finding happiness in various aspects of life like - love, work, death etc. The thoughts shared were simple, yet carried a profound meaning to it. I'll try my level best to remember Dr DC's thoughts and write them down.

  • There can 101 ways to beat stress like meditation, swimming, yoga and many more. But the most powerful ones are those times spent with your friend / spouse / partner doing some activity, where MONEY is not involved. Play a game of tennis or badminton, walk a few miles - any activity with a buddy is sure a great stress buster. When money is not involved, it brings in great happiness to play with friends and hence greater relief from stress.
  • As Lord Krishna advocates in his Bhagvad Gita, an employee also should live the life of KARMA YOGI. It means that - Just keep doing the work about which you are passionate about, but don't await the outcome of your work. If you love what you are doing, then the end result should never matter to you. Great musicians, artists have all created wonders - but never with the intention of selling and making money. If it happens later as a gradual process, then learn to accept it. But, the point is, Be passionate about your work, Work more passionately, Never think about the outcome. By living the life of Karma Yogi in the work place, the employee is totally satisfied - you can never find a more satisfied and happy human being at work.
  • The human body is made of matter, as are all the things in this earth. So, why do we think that the human body is destroyed after death ? Matter can never be destroyed. It just exists in different forms. By thinking that the person who died, is existing in this earth in some other form, will bring in some serenity to the mind. Its all in the mind - what you make your mind to think, is what you'll feel later.
  • When two people meet and talk, each person starts to exist in the conscience of the other. This kind of communication through the conscience is very powerful and intent. It also helps in feeling the other person's presence, even when they are not near us. This feeling is a great happiness contributor, when the other person meets with death.

Dr DC's thoughts and expressions were many more, which I am having trouble in bringing them to memory. Once, I do it, I'll be sure to write them also.

Finally, our happiness is within us. Nothing outside can affect this happiness within. We are responsible for our own happiness. How we react to situations, how we work passionately, how we treat our friends, how are we treated by our enemies - anything and everything should not affect our inner happiness.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love being a MOM !

So, I've been tagged again, by Reflections. But this time, its something close to my heart and brings such warmth thinking about it, that I am feeling sad that I should write ONLY 5 things I love being a Mom. If I my list goes beyond 5, I am not responsible, its the motherly instincts that have taken over me. OK !

1. First of all, I am so proud being a Mom, as I had created two wonderful lives inside me and when I look upon them now, so grown up (my daughters are teenagers) and taller than me, sometimes I choke with tears.

2. When ever my S starts telling my girls about his childhood days, my daughters call me and ask "Really, Mom ? Is that so?" Even for my husband's childhood stories (of which I was never a part of), the YES stamp has to come from me. When I point it out to them, they refuse to believe (even now, when they are little grown up) anything, without my nod. That kind of blind belief on me, makes me strive harder to be a better mother than what I am now.

3. The quiet afternoons on the bed, spent with my daughters, listening to their stories about friends, about their ideas of life, silly questions about sex, birth and my attempt at answering those without lying to them - those are such wonderful moments to die for. That is a time of realisation for me, on how much my daughters value my advice. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of their lives in moulding their careers, personality, behaviour - actually I am proud to be their MOM.

4. Those proud moments when my daughters gets appreciated in school for outstanding performance and when the teachers call us up and applaud for being gifted with such wonderful daughters - Oh! I am blessed to be a mother of these 2 girls.

5. When I am being credited for the creative skills which my daughter has inherited, I am elated. Sometimes, I can see that my daughters are desperately trying to do things the way I do. That is another proud moment to be a mother.

6. My life's best award was given by my daughters, when they go ooh hoo aah haa over my cooking. My little one always says that I should have been a Chef at a 5 star hotel for the way I am cooking or I should start my Cooking Show (like Nigella Lawson). Imagine being placed on par with Nigella !!! My girls favourite slogan goes like - Taste mein best, Mummy aur ..... (whatever dish they are eating right then).

7. Those moments when the girls ask me to repeat their childhood stories - again and again and again - make me a proud mother, but we've never got bored with the stories. The best times are also when we look through our photo album when my girls were in diapers.

8. When I being tightly hugged by both my girls, kissed on the cheek and flowered with the title - Mom, you are the best ! This is one moment which cannot equate my entire life on earth.

I think this list might just be going on, as there are many more moments to share. But, since this is a tag, I stop here convinced that Motherhood is indeed the greatest pedestal to be, indeed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Lessons !

I've been learning a few things in the past few days, which have made me pause and take a different look at life. These insights into life, make us a better human being for tomorrow.

Lesson 1 :

No person or incident can make you less happy in life. The happiness factor depends upon - how you react to the incident or the person.

Scene - Early morning 6.45 at the breakfast table.

My girls are having milk and scrambled egg for breakfast. I am busy plaiting my daughter's hair. At that time, I hear the horn of the school bus. OMG, the bus has come nearly 10 minutes early. My daughter, reacting to my frenzied pace, started gulping down her milk pretty fast. As I am requesting the bus driver to wait for my daughters, I hear my daughters plea to come and help her. Alas, the milk had spilled on her uniform.

Usual me - Start shouting at my girls for not being efficient in doing things, always being clumsy etc etc. My daughter will go to school with a grumpy face, which might affect her attentiveness at class. The screaming woman in me will be displayed to the hubby dear also, which can spoil his whole day at work.

The New Me - Because of my new learning, I faced the situation in a calm and peaceful way. I smiled at my daughter and said "Its OK, dear. It happens to us also. Don't worry, I'll ask the bus driver to wait for few more minutes while you change your uniform". WOW, Wasn't that easy ? My daughter will go to school with a big smile on her face. And more importantly, the happy woman in me is flashing the happy smile on my S too. Every body's day goes off well and I am happy that I've been instrumental in that.

Just by reacting differently to the whole scenario, I made myself feel happy. So, its all inside us - how you react is how you'll feel.

Lesson 2 :

Being grateful in life, for all that you have, is the secret to happiness in your life.

Scene - Prayer before bedtime, with my girls.

The regular questions which I face are - Is God hearing our prayers ? Can he understand, if I ask for an iPod, and give it to me ? How can he help in my studies, when I can't see him ? And many more like this.

Usual me - Pray to God with a sincere heart and he'll grant all your wishes. By encouraging my daughters, when they are asking for more and more things, I've enabled them to understand that the keyword is - keep asking but ask sincerely.

The New Me - The new order in my home is this - Prayers at bedtime are not meant for asking for things, instead they are for thanking God for all that he has given to us. I am insisting on my girls to list 3 things everyday, for which they are extremely thankful to God. Also, I make them write down those things. Eventually, they'll come to understand that we have so many things to be happy about in life.

I hope that I am imparting a great lesson to my children to follow in their lives, for which I am grateful to God. By being grateful, I found the key to my happiness.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Are you a good parent ?

This happened to one of my friend's cousin, say S, who is just about 17 yrs old. She is very calm and quiet, refusing to mingle with others. When I enquired about her, I was told that she is undergoing psychiatric treatment.

OMG ! I was saddened by the whole story !!!!!!!

When S finished her 10th standard, her parents put her in junior college to do her 12th board exams, in the maths and science category. So S joined the hostel to stay close to her junior college. But after an year of her studies, S felt that all the studies and preparing for the entrance exams are just too much for her and she requested her parents to come and take her back home. But since she had already finished one year of studies, her parents tried to convince her that everything will workout fine. And then came the board exams and it was such a bad luck for S as she failed to get selected to any of the prestigious engineering colleges in the city.

Now, her parents decided that S continue to train in the junior college, so that she can write the entrance exams again and may be she'll be selected in any of the engineering colleges in the next year. It was at this time, that S requested so many times that she doesn't like to continue the studies. But in vain, the parents never listened to her - her problems - why she doesn't want to continue.

The result - S is under depression - of the severe order. She now wants to break away from everything. So, S had been advised psychiatric help and is now under medication. She is so dazed because of the medication that she doesn't communicate with anybody. Now, she is undergoing training for meditation, to channelise her energies.

A very confused, depressed little girl - all thanks to her parents.

My questions are

  • Is it justified that the parents always tell (or probably force) what their child has to study or do in their life ?
  • Why are the parents (so called matured adults) so much obsessed with this engineering or medicine courses ?
  • Whatever the parents were not able to do, when they were young, can they force it on their children to satisfy their inner self ?
  • Don't the parents need to ask the child, if they are willing to do a particular course or more importantly - What does the child want to do in life ?

Why don't we give freedom to a boy or girl, who is 16 / 17 yrs old, to choose whatever they want to do in life ? I am not denying the responsibility of the parents in the whole decision process. The parents can guide them, give them inputs, help them to choose from different options available - but never force them to study a particular subject.

In today's world, there are so many ways to satisfy the soul. Starting from a beautician, fashion designer, an artist, an author, a lyricist, an environmentalist, dancer, singer, journalist, animal welfare worker, potter, chef - you can be anybody you want. The satisfaction that is achieved by working on your passionate goal is just something that words cannot describe.

Not everybody who is born on this earth can be an engineer or a doctor. It is total absurdity to think on those lines.

This request is for all those parents who come across my blog - Please allow your children to be what they want to be. Don't ever force your children to study a particular subject or take some course - just to satisfy your own inner desires. Be there as a guiding light, a beacon, for your children. Support them with all your capacity.

Already, in this world filled with scientific gadgets, we've lost the so called innocence in our children. Now, lets not lose our children to the confines of depression.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shiamak - a hype ??????

I had been listening to reviews by various people about the Dance classes run by Shiamak Davar and all of them vouched that its a great thing to do.

As a new branch was opened near to my home, I enrolled my 2 daughters for Winter Funk, last year. Alas, our bad luck, the show was cancelled due the Mumbai terror attacks at Taj. Since my girls were totally disappointed by the cancellation of the stage show, I decided to enroll them for the Summer Funk, this year.

The classes began on 25th Apr and ended by 9th May - that was a total of 15 classes of 1 hr duration each. The show was held on 10th May, which turned out to be quite a disappointment for me. 38 batches from various branches in the city, performed for nearly two and half hours. But only 2 or 3 dances made their way into my heart.

This made me sit down and ponder at the following things, which could have been done in a much better way.
- It sadly showed that there were not enough rehearsals, to achieve that perfect finish on stage.
- During the 2 weeks of dance class, first week is spent on choosing a song and in the second week we are made to run between tailor to tailor for getting the costume done. Don't forget the prop - that should also be made ready. At least, they can guide us to a good tailor. Nah ! Its all for you to find out and get it done.
- For the amount of money they charge us as course fees, there could have been more classes for rehearsals and to achieve a good synchronisation among the dancers.
- In a group of more than 25 people dancing on stage, only those in the front row do the dancing part right. Sorry, the ones in the back row take it easy on certain steps.
- I also found so many steps repeated among many groups.
- On the whole, I had spent for the classes, the costume and also for the tickets to watch the show by my daughters.

Shiamak seems to be a better businessman than a dancer was my overall impression. The proof is the number of branches they have opened so far.

The only satisfying thing in this whole episode was that my daughters had great fun, enjoyed dancing and also gave a stage show. Shiamak was also present to add glamour to the whole show.

The hype created around this Shiamak Davar Dance Classes were so much, that I expected a much more better performance, better choreography and better costumes. And because of the high levels of expectations, I was hit with disappointment. Some of the costumes were really in need of re-design. I think that lot of consideration should be given to the costume while designing, so that the dancer is totally comfortable in that dress - only then the moves will be done to perfection.

I think I satisfied my daughter's wish to join this dance class and perform on stage. I am happy doing it for my daughters even though I am not convinced about the whole thing.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Simple pleasures in life !

Today, I had been reading a very interesting article in the IE, about the simple pleasures in life. The author had went to describe how it was more pleasurable to read a novel in the train and in the side look out for the next snack that will be doing the rounds. He had also explained how he is unable to enjoy such things now, as our lifestyle has changed dramatically.

This clicked on my thought process.

Oh ! how many small, simple things made me happy when I was young !!!!!

I am very fond of train travel (even now). When I was young, me and my sister went along with our aunt to Ahmedabad (my uncle used to live there). The journey was 2 days up and 2 days down. And it never bothered us as to what we'll do for 2 days in the train. We played a multitude of games, befriended a lot of kids in the train and had so much fun. The best part was we both sat and wrote down the name of every station we crossed / stopped. And we cross checked it while travelling back home. That's one train journey which I'll never forget.

My grandmother (my dad's mom) holds a special place in my heart ( I think not only mine, but in all her grandchildren). She has such soft hands that I'll be waiting for the weekends, when she'll oil massage my hair and body. That afternoon nap after the bath, was my favourite. She also allowed me to sleep on her lap or shoulder ( in our households, the grandparents are into so much of rituals and customs, that they refrain others from touching them). My grandmother was an exception. She found ways to twist rules, to make us happy. The best part I remember about her, is the way she used to make small balls of curd rice and put it on our palms to make us eat, all the while fabricating such wonderful stories. In the center of the curd rice ball, she'll press a little with her finger and in that, she'll pour a little sambar or keep a piece of mango pickle. Oh ! It tasted so delicious, that all of us will be gobbling more than we could possibly eat. I've still not found anything that equated that simple pleasure of eating curd rice, from the hands of my grandmother.

Me and my sister have this rapport for talking on for hours together, without getting BORED. We can talk about anything, but over a hot cup of tea. When both of us were in our teens, we had spent so much time chatting that we were oblivious to the world around us. This is another of life's simplest pleasures which I treasure.

Oh ! This blog will be incomplete if Md Rafi is not mentioned. This genius' voice is such a soother / stress buster / call it anything - that I literally worship him. Such is the versatility of his voice, that he can sing any number - duet, solo, sad song, gazals, almost anything. Listening to him / his voice / his songs was the top most in my list of simple pleasures in life. I still listen to him but nowadays, it has become a rarity, with two teenagers behind me all the time.

There are so many to this list and I am deeply thinking about them all, which might continue in my next blog. But till such time, I am glad to have listed a few of those things which made me so happy. I am smiling as I write this and I will be very happy to write more about these simple things.

I am praying to God at this juncture, for everybody to relive their simple pleasures, as they give more meaning to life than materialistic things.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


People have such strange obsessions in life.
Ask my S to know about mine, which I think have been kept quite a secret so far. Here I am trying to explain about only one of those. So, why this revelation now ?
Maybe, when people comment on my post, I'll get to know about the weird things, which they are obsessed with and the whole process might turn out to be very funny, indeed.
Isn't this a great job to do to spend all those lazy summer afternoons ?
OK, coming to the point of discussion, I've this strange quality of collecting carry bags. You name them and I'll have them.
Yes, you're absolutely right in guessing that carry bags are those plastic bags in which you're handed over the stuff you buy in shops, malls etc.
Just imagine that I've shopped for 3 salwar suits and 2 sarees. Even before the bill is paid, I am near the delivery counter trying to make eye contact with the packing boy. That is actually to make him pack the 5 things in 5 different bags instead of one bag, as is usually done. I do all these silly things, if and only if, the carry bag is really good and has captured my heart with the design. I've a great eye for catchy design, mind you.
You should see my expression when somebody tries to borrow one carry bag from me. Those prized possessions, which were absolutely a delight to collect, is certainly not available for borrowing. But, I do give consideration to the people who ask me for it. If they are somebody whom I am really fond of or if I know that they'll take very good care of the plastic bag just as I do, I might come down and give them one or two.
Of course, I do have a really good collection now. I love those wonderful smooth carry bags which I got in Dubai ( we had been there for a holiday ). The carry bags which you get at duty free shops are just awesome.
And when you give those bags collected with great difficulty to people, they sometimes use it as lunch bags, spill food inside and throw it away, I feel very sad about it.
I know, I know, this is absolutely weird and silly - this obsession with plastic carry bags. But what to do ? It is all this weird and silly things that make us as human beings.
So, are you obsessed with anything in life ?

PS - There are so many other things about which I am obsessed with, which I'll share with you in the coming posts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Golden moments !!!!

How many of us really enjoy watching the 24*7 TV music channels that telecast only the latest bollywood hits?

The songs shown are from the latest movies or the movies that are about to release shortly. Music from films released just 6 months back is considered OLD !!!!

I am not against these kind of music, actually I do like all kinds of music. But being exposed to these 24 *7 music channels day in and day out - courtesy my younger daughter - I rather felt out of touch with the film music, with which I grew up.

Then, finally, last week, I was rewarded for my patience.

One fine evening, I find myself in front of the TV, with the REMOTE in my hand, during the prime time slot 8pm - 9pm !!!!! My girls are still playing and my S has not yet got back home from work.

Wow, God has been really kind to bestow this gift on me. The REMOTE CONTROL was in my hand !!!!!

And, I was thrilled to the hilt, as I sat glued to Doordarshan's Chitrahaar. For nearly an hour, I was in a different world, which I thought never existed for me anymore. Oh! My fav songs still come on Chitrahaar. The black and white melodies, the 70s duets - OMG ! I was so happy !

And, God being the ever so kind soul, was stretching the happiness bubble for me.

As I got up early on Sunday morning to send my daughters and my S for swimming, I found myself alone with the REMOTE again. And what a timing ! I was in for a visual treat, as it was time for Doordarshan's Rangoli on Sunday mornings.

What a collection of songs !!!! WOW !!!!!
- Main naa booloonga mein naa booloongi, chandan sa bhadhan, tarif karoon kya usiki jisne tumhe banaya .............

What a treat for me ! Thank you God for creating such wonderful opportunities for me, so that I was able to watch a collection of my favourite songs, after a very very very long time.

I sincerely hope that these Golden moments will continue for me !!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My plans for the Summer !

At last, the Summer vacations have begun, of course, for my girls. And everybody keeps asking me - What are your plans for this vacation ? Where are you going ?

When I asked myself this question, I was absolutely sure of the answer, which is - I would love to chill at my home, sweet home.

But Why ? Why ? Why ?????

Now, let me justify my point. In a country like India, it's hot or scorching hot during May, when summer is at its peak. So, even if I plan a trip, I am sure, I cannot escape from the hot rays of the burning sun. And how can I go on a sight seeing trip, when I am being barbecued alive?

OK. OK. I can go to a hill resort, where I can hide under the chill. But, how long can I do that ? May be a week ??? Then, I am again back to the hot, hot city, where I live.

Now that I've decided to stay put in my home during summer, what's my agenda for the holidays ?

One thing is for definite - more cooking time - as the need for snacks increases when children are there at home. I've been gifted a wonderful baking recipes book by my best friend and I intend to try out a lot of things from the book. Cheers to the baker in me !

Also, I am planning to enroll my girls for some summer classes, which will keep them busy for a few hours everyday. This vacation is the right time for them to catch up with their hobbies, as the academic year is almost spent on studies. My God ! What a huge syllabus they cover in one year ? Worse still, is the need to keep up with the competition.

Fortunately, there is a swimming pool in our apartment, where I can fight against the terrible heat. At the same time, I'll be battling against my belly bulge, through vigorous swimming exercises. Now, this is what I call as 3B - Battle with Belly Bulge.

Hey ! Now, some constructive thinking and planning are happening, I am sure that this vacation will keep us all busy. I am also desperately trying to win the 3B. Wish me luck for this battle.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jantha hai mera COUSIN kaun hai ????

Morning News from Facebook : Uma, Barack Obama confirmed you as a cousin on We're Related.

I don't know whether I should be thrilled or happy about this new relation, which Facebook has found for me.

But one thing is for sure, I was rolling on the floor laughing my heart out.

Me and Barack Obama - COUSINS, eh ?????

Now, now, dear Facebook, you've made my hubby dear hesitate to come near me. He's scared that one wrong move from his side and I'll be on the next flight to G20 Summit to complain to Obama.

Oh my God ! Facebook made my day today !

Then and Now (Part II) - The Television

Since the Television is the centre piece in one's living room and also because it has taken the prime times of enjoyment out of any body's life, I've decided to allot one full blog about this wonderful TV.

Then - When I was young, we had only one TV Channel - THE DOORDARSHAN and that was the best for all of us. The whole family - starting from my grand parents till my youngest brother were so happy with the range of programs we all had. We had a regional channel of the Doordarshan(called Podhigai), which used to telecast Tamil programs during particular time slots. One movie per week, one collection of super hit songs in Tamil (1/2 hr program per week) - were the favourite programs in the whole Tamil Nadu.
Me and my sister used to watch the Hindi dominated Doordarshan and loved to watch Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Hindi movies. But with limited TV time, we had so much time to do other things - playing, cleaning the house, visiting relatives or friends, going to the temple, helping my mother in cooking and many more. This kind of helping around has moulded me to be a better person today.

Now - My Tata Sky has more than 130 channels, when not one of us even surf through them on a given day. I hardly watch TV and if I get to the remote, its my favorite Travel and Living. Very rarely, I get to watch a good English movie in HBO / Zee Studio / Star Movies.
My Mr.S is hooked onto the Sports and News Channel like the many other men in this whole wide world, but with his crazy work schedules, he manages only an hour a day. Of course, forgive him on those days when the Indian Cricket Team is out on any of the cricket grounds, for a ball by ball viewing and not to forget the highlights.
The NEWS channels are also too many and to make their programs to the top list, these channels make News out of nothing too. Too much of hype about sensitive issues have lead to serious consequences. It's come to a stage, when we can't watch even the NEWS channel along with our children - as you never know, what picture or image that's making news will be aired next.
The kids have about 10 to 15 channels for themselves and mind it - ALL THE PROGRAMS ARE BORING !!!!!! Only one or two is good enough to watch for the time being. And I am sure that this is sure to change over the next six months. And these music channels - What will they do if they have to telecast music for 24 hrs a day ? Keep repeating a particular set of songs over and over, till my daughter learns them by-heart. Its too much for me to hear them on a daily basis.
As though all this is not enough, my daughter wants to switch to TATA SKY PLUS, where you can record programs which you are unable to watch at the time of telecast and view them at your own time of leisure. This one is sure to give me headaches. Because, I know I'll be sweet talked to record programs for each member of the family, whenever they want it.
I just totally dislike the idea of planning your life based on the TV programs. There are some people who don't like to entertain guests or visit others during the time of their favourite serials. Are the serials more important than your relatives / friends???? And these are the people, who'll ignore a guest and continue watching their favourite soaps.
OK, with one TV per home, have the people learnt to share the view time with everybody in the family ? Then why a big war is fought for the mere possession of the REMOTE. Whoever has the Remote, has the Control !!!
As though all these are not enough, there are homes where there is a TV in the bedrooms too. I'll be guilty, if I don't accept that my home too is on this list. So, you sleep with a TV and wake up with one also. While kids watch the TV in the living area, my Mr. S watches in the bedroom. And imagine me shuttling between the lovable husband and my adorable daughters !!!
To conclude, let me put it like this - The Television is a necessary Devil in the any house. Let us allot specific time to watch one or two programs. Children can develop their creative abilities or pursue their passion (singing / dancing / crafts), instead of watching repeated telecasts in TV. Just, by talking so much about this TV, I am no way going to throw it out of my home. Let us learn to live with it but make sure that this IDIOT BOX doesn't rule our HOMES !

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Then and Now !

What is this - Then and Now ? Here I want to write about my childhood days in Then and my daughters related childhood happenings in Now. I always keep talking to my girls about this - when I was young, I used to do things like this and that. And so many talks have happened between us, that its time to blog them all.

Then - I had the freedom to play without being dampened by my school routines. Since we lived in houses (apartments were not there), the play area is the street in which we lived. And all the kids in the street joined together in evening, to play the same game everyday. I can even remember, that we've played the same run and catch for so many days. Then it was the seven pillars - that craze went on for so many days. Then it was the turn of Hopscotch, Kho Kho, Hide and Seek. What I want to tell is that we were not BORED of playing, as long as we played everyday.

Now - My girls are growing up in the apartment culture, where people from different parts of India live together. Its such a great thing as we get to know about various cultures. Even though there are enough children here to have 10 cricket teams, the surprising part is that these kids have formed groups among themselves - based upon whether their frequencies matching up. Huh ! And, I am more shocked by this line, - Ma, its boring - almost everyday. These children can't play the same game even for 2 times in a row. That's considered boring. So, in a two-hour playtime, how many games can they play without getting bored ? Their interest span, for anything, is very low.

Then - During play time, its only play, play, play. Of course, we also did our chit chat sessions, during break times. But never did any one of us brought the tape recorder or a radio out to play. First, it was so expensive to possess one, in those days. Second, the parents banned the kid to take any of the stuff out to play. And we were all more interested in playing together that we didn't even think about taking the gadgets to the road.

Now - Any kid that comes to play, is attached to an ipod, mp3 player or at least a mobile phone, through the earphone jack. How can these children run and play, with a music player singing with them ? What is the need for such display of gadgets, while playing ?

Then - I have learnt carnatic music - it is a must for all kids in the traditional South Indian families. Me and my sister used to go this class together. And, in my class, we were taught the basic lessons through hearsay. No notes, to begin with. So, whatever the teacher teaches us today, we've to recite it by-heart in the next class. We learnt every lesson with such focus and concentration, that after 30 years, I am still able to recite them from memory.

Now - I also sent my girls to the music class - as is the tradition. Unfortunately for me, my eldest daughter decided that singing is not for her, at a very early age. And nothing I did, could make her go to the music class. The younger one has a good voice and started singing very well. When we shifted to our new home, the classes stopped just like that. Now, she just can't remember the basic music lessons which she learned just 4 years back. Where is the focus of these children gone ? The filmi songs stay in mind, as the girls listens to it everyday - thanks to MTV, V or the various music players.

Then - There was no concept of maids in my home. So, me and my sister were allotted house hold chores from the beginning and it became an inherent part of my life. Before leaving home for school, I'll have to sweep or mop the house and my sister will do other one. And we've to wash our clothes by ourselves, dry them in the terrace, before leaving to school. My mother will help us only in washing our uniforms. Sorry, no electronic help too in our house, then.

Now - I have a maid to clean the house and a washing machine to wash clothes. But, simple tasks like drying the clothes, putting the clothes in the laundry basket, setting the table for lunch / dinner and then cleaning the table, have to be given as instructions everyday. Today's children are lost in their own world, that all these things are taken for granted - ma will do it attitude.

Then - The world was a better place, then, for my parents to leave me unattended while playing on the streets. Me and my sister used to walk to school, everyday and later on took up the responsibilities of taking my brother and cousins. Even though we stayed quite near to the Marina beach, it'll take us about 30 mins to reach the beach. And we used to enjoy the walk so much that those were the quality family times, I remember very well. I started travelling by the bus, at an age of 15. Going to places on my own, was very exciting for me and it was easy for my parents to take that decision - as the world was much better to live in.

Now - My children are so used to travelling in the bike / car / auto, that the thought of a short distance of walk would wear them down. And the idea of allowing my girls to go on their own is scary to me, first. The world is in such a state now, that the girls better be escorted.

Now, I feel, that I've complained quite a lot about the NOW kids. But, that's not the intention and should not be taken like that. Its just facts told in the times of my childhood and that of my girls. Actually, today's kids are more smarter, have more exposure to various things (both good and bad - which makes our job more difficult) and can decide better for themselves.

So, just like our children, we parents are in the process of learning as everyday goes by. I just remember this at the junction to end my blog - By the time a man understands that his father had been RIGHT all the time (that happens when he becomes a father), there is his son who thinks that his father knows NOTHING. I think this is the life cycle.

Edited to add :

The way my thoughts are spinning in my head after I published the post, I think there'll be a Then and Now - Part II, very soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Are you happy in your Marriage ?

Of late, my ears are buzzing with the news that couples (I personally know some of them) are not happy in their marriages. My heart goes out to those people who are unable to find happiness in their wedded life. It is not because that they are not in love, but they have not built their love on strong family grounds.

I've seen a few couples, wherein the wife thinks her husband is only for her and their children. It has always been - Me, My husband and My children. I am asking those ladies - "Did your man jump from the sky above onto your lap ?" That man of yours is a son first before he became your husband. Please give respect to your mother-in-law, for the one great fact that she has made a wonderful man and given him to you. Just think of this possibility too - What if your son leaves you for the new wife he has got ? (Futuristic thinking)

It is not always the two of you, in the relationship called marriage. The circle of relatives, who surround your husband and your rapport with them is crucially important. Whenever your husband's brother /sister appreciates you or the work you've done, have you noticed your husband's face glow with pride ? Now, this man of yours will do anything for you. Wonderful, isn't it ?

The women of this world have a wonderful nature - to break or make a home. How true ! Till you understand the person with whom you're going to live with, till you understand the family that surrounds your man, please learn to LET GO. By LET GO, I don't mean that you should be silently taking the abuses (if any). My point is that do not be under emotional stress to misunderstand the relations. Once you get to know the people around your husband, the relationship is on more stronger grounds to be shaken by silly incidents and outbursts. On familiar grounds now, your family members will LET GO for your sake. Isn't that what you want ?

From my point of view, women sponge themselves into any situation and are great at adapting themselves to new environments. Otherwise, why would a woman leave her parents home and start living in a new home after marriage ? We, women, are better in this self-adaptation process. We can change from home to working environments and back home in a jiffy. We hold top posts in companies as efficient managers. Why not be the best loved manager in our own homes ?

Marriages are great institutions of life. Let us build a wonderful home surrounded by our love for our family. The secret ingredient for a loving life is - always add a pinch of your priceless love every time you cook a meal at home. That way, your loved ones always come home for the loving meal. And needless to say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

You have a WIN-WIN situation, dear women. Make use of it to the maximum and my warm wishes for a blissful married life.

A Hundred Questions about me !

I am at this junction in my life where I don't even think about my daughter's question paper. And here comes 100 questions charging at me for self - analysis.
Was tagged by Nancy into doing this appraisal of my soul.

1. What's your name? Uma
2. Nicknames? Umiya (by my best friend in school), Ums, Upma (particularly used to irritate me, but still used a lot.)
4. Zodiac sign ? Virgo
5. Male or female or transgendered ? Female
6. Elementary? Children's Garden School, Chennai
7. Schools ? M E I Children's School, Chennai (Nursery)
8. Colleges ? Govt Polytechnic for Women, Chennai (if polytechnics can be catalogued under colleges)
9. Height ? 5'4”
10. Hair color ? Used to be black, now has acquired a shade of brown, due to henna.
11. Long or short ? Keeping it short - easy to maintain
12. Do you have a crush on someone? ? Right now, nobody (weep, weep)
13: Ever been in love? Very much, with my husband and so much with my daughters.
14. Piercings ? Ears, yes. Nose - had it for 10 years and one fine day said goodbye to nose ring.
15. Tattoos ? Hate them on me and on others too.
16. Righty or lefty ? Generally right handed. Due to tennis elbow in my right hand, I am training myself to be a lefty, at least for doing strenuous jobs.

17. First piercing ? My ears were pierced when I was 1 year old, without my permission.
18. First best friends ? Sharada, Hamsini, Raji, Sharad - when I was 7 or 8 years old.
19. First sport you joined? Running race - I used to win all the races in school till I reached my puberty.
20. First pet ? Last year, had a pup, Brownie for only 3 months and then gave it away.
21. First vacation ? New Delhi - Its all hearsay, my parents took me there at an age, of which I cant recall anything. First vacation, which I can remember is to Ahmedabad, my mama used to stay there.
22. First concert ? Been a part, in the school team.
23. First crush ? Ravi Shastri, when I was in college. That was the time he won an Audi and all the girls in my class were droooooling on him.
24. Eating ? Anything, except sweets / ice creams / chocolates. Love to eat chips - anytime.
25. Drinking ? Would love to drink these anytime - water, tea, fresh juice (lemonades are my favs).
26. I'm about to ? eat lunch with my girls.
27. Listening to ? Tumse hi din hota hai - from jab we met - that's my fav for the current season.
28. Last beverage ? Tea
29. Last phone call ? 30 mins back
30. Last text message ? from my cousin, wishing my daughter on her bday.
31. Last song you listened to ? aaogi jab tum ho saajna - from jab we met again. i love this song.
32. Last time you cried ? I cry everytime I watch Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and it came day before yday (may be the 17th time).
33. Dated someone twice ? Dating --- Totally banned in my house.
34. Been cheated on? ? I don't think so - as I try to convince myself that it is all a misunderstanding.
35. Kissed someone & regretted it? ? Yeah, my hubby, Srini - kissed him just after he had a paan (its the strong one) and very much regretted it.
36. Lost someone special? ? My grandfather.
37. Been depressed?? Sometimes, but try hard to come out of it.
38. Been drunk and threw up? ? Threw up - No. Drunk - yes, on our honeymoon - became totally drunk for one small glass of wine. Srini got so worried since I was laughing silly.
39. Made new friends ? Yeah, very special ones too.
40. Fallen out of love ? Never fallen in - to fall out.
41. Laughed until you cried ? Every time I watch Vivek's comedy (Vivek is a famous comedian in the Tamil movies)
42. Met someone who changed you ? My mother-in-law. Changed me for the better.
43. Found out who your true friends were ? Yeah, in the most hard way possible.
44. Found out someone was talking about you ? Of course, I can sense that immediately.
45. Kissed anyone on your friend's list ? No, no, no.
46. Made the first Move ? Mmmmmm...... No.
47. Do you have any pets ? None
48. Do you want to change your name ? Of course, not.
49. What did you do for your last birthday ? Had an enjoyable family dinner in a great restaurant. Srini had arranged for cake, flowers. What else can a woman ask for ?
50. What time did you wake up today – 5.30am. Have to get the girls ready for school as their bus is at 6.45am.
51. What were you doing at midnight last night? Blissfully in sleep.
52. Name something you CANNOT wait for ? I cannot wait for a get-together with my school mates.
53. Last time you saw your father ? Feb 2009
54. What is the one thing you wish you could change about your life ? Wish that I had gone on to finish my graduation.
55. Most visited webpage ? My Yahoo Mail - I love to keep in touch.
56.Bribed someone? ? Personally, no.
57.Played with dolphins? ? Went for a dolphin show, but after we got seated, the show got cancelled.
58. Want kids? ? Not at this stage in my life. Now, even a small change in my menstrual cycle can create havoc in my life.
59. Want to get married ? ? Yeah, me and Srini relive our wedding ceremony on our anniversary every year.
60. Careers in mind? ? Making a career for my girls.
61. Settling in a Big Villa? ? Yeah and that day, we'll have a dog too.
62. Day or night? ? Nighty night, sleepy head.
63. What day is tomorrow? ? Tuesday.
64. Challenges? ? Physical ones - no. Mental ones - yeah, I don't mind trying.
65. Drive with windows up or down? ? Down, of course.
66. Scared of Death? ? Yes.
67. Cook or Clean? ? Cooking all the way, for me.
68. Lips or eyes ? ????????
69. Hugs or kisses ? Both are meant only for my family.
70. Shorter or taller ? Taller
71. Older or Younger ? A lot younger.
72. Romantic or spontaneous ? Spontaneously romantic.
73. Nice stomach or nice arms ? If u work towards a nice stomach, you'll automatically have nice arms. Howzaat ?
74. Sensitive or loud ? Very sensitive.
75. Hook-up or relationship ? Hook ups are not in my book.
77. Trouble maker or hesitant ? Mmmmmm very hesitant.
78. Kissed a stranger ? Never even thought about it.
79. Lost glasses/contacts ? I don't wear glasses / contacts.
80. Found money on the road ? Wish I had.
81. Sex on first date ? When there's no date, where's the sex ?
82. Broken someone's heart ? Didn't do it deliberately.
83. Had your own heart broken ? Was too strong to let it break.
84. Held a snake? ? Awwww Nooooo. Just cant stand reptiles.
85. Been arrested ? Me ??
86. Turned someone down ? Yes
87. Cried when someone died ? When my grandfather died, I cried a lot.
88. Liked a friend that is a girl/boy? ? Yes
89. Yourself ? I do.
90. Miracles ? Absolutely.
91. Love at first sight ? It didn't happen for me. But I was loved at first sight by my sweet hubby.
92. Heaven ? I am on a good deed mission, to reach there finally.
93. Santa Clause ? A wonderful character for a make believe fantasy world.
94. Peace in this lifetime ? Am trying very hard for it.
95. Kissing on the first date? ? Sorry, very boring life, indeed.
96. Angels ? Are all around us, trying to help us when we are in trouble.
97. Is there one person you want to be with right now? ? My sister-in-law in US.
98. Had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend at one time in the past? ? Yeah - girl friends.
99. You will die Young ? Already old, where to die young ?
100. You will end with the one you love and learn to love the one you are with – Its always better to love the one you are with.

Atlast, they are over. And here, I tag

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Waking up with Alarms !

Trrrnnnng ! Trrrnnngg ! Ahhh ! What is that noise ? Who is disturbing my sleep ?
I hate these alarms. This was me when I was studying for board exams and this is still me when I try to get up and send my daughters to school. I love to switch off the alarm and go back to sleep and continue with my dream. Ah ! Such wonderful dreams come only in the early morning hours, which I've to cut short to get up.

When I was in school, every night before going to bed, my standard dialogue to my mom will be "Ma, please wake me up early. I've got to read". She'll give me a dirty look and walk off. I know this look, as I get it everyday. Early morning, when my mom starts waking me up, I'll just open my eyes a little and tell "5 mins, I'll be up". And then I'll cuddle nicely with a pillow and close my eyes to continue my dream. My mom will come again after 5 mins and this time she'll have a very stern voice. I'll actually sit up and again fall back on the bed. My mom walking from the kitchen to the bedroom and me changing poses will continue for another half an hour. To put an end to this situation, my mom will just get a glass of water and pour it on my face. Alas, dreams shattered, sleep gone and I am totally awake. As this situation was a regular everyday, both my mom and me got used to it, kind of. Now, you understood why she gave me a dirty look.

Actually, the problem arised because of my sister. This sister of mine will get up on her own in the ungodly hour of 3am to study. While I can study late into the night, I can never do this morning studies. I try and study during regular days so that I dont need to keep awake just to study. Why miss out on the wonderful dream-full sleep ?

And now, when I dont have anything to study, I've to get up early to the ringtones of the mobile alarm, so that my daughters get ready for school in time.

What a wonderful invention is the SNOOZE option in the alarms of mobile phones. It's just like what I did, when I was young. Those days, it was my mom who used to snooze and call me every 5 mins. Now it is the mobile, which has taken over from my mom. I set the time in my mobile 30 mins fast. When the alarm rings, it is actually 30 mins in advance to the actual time. It is a great delight now, to keep snoozing the mobile for the next 30 mins and enjoy some more sleep, the way I wanted.

The holidays are the time when the mobile alarm is totally off, but I've to live with the real life alarms - like my daughter, who gets up at 5.30am even during days when she has off.

Now a days, as political parties in India follow the footsteps of Obama, they are becoming more gadget oriented. I keep getting election messages in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours. I am totally against these smses in the night times.

Finally, as the exams are getting over, I am just about to get a break from the alarms and blissfully sleep till the sun rises. Here's to beautiful dreams and great sleeping time to myself !

Friday, February 27, 2009

Weight loss is never a Cake Walk !

Weight loss !!! Its just two words but the meaning and the effort that goes in to achieve it, is humongous. And all the tricks of the trade that we practise won't bring the needle down, in the weighing scale.
I cannot be rated as fat. But people, who have seen me during my early days into marital bliss, will find me a bit more round at the curves, now. Well, to be honest, I don't mind the roundness in the curves at all. It's the bloated tummy that's bothering me and especially my jeans, a lot.
I can still remember when all this started - it was after my second c-section. Every minute of the day was spent on my 2 daughters who are only 1 year 5 months apart. Imagine my plight when the older one wants to run around and play and I have the younger one to feed and nurse. This babysitting situation helped me to totally forget about my body. And by the time, I looked up to see myself in the mirror (after I had put both the girls in school), it was a horrible sight to see. Oh God ! All the weight gain has happily happened while I was totally oblivious to it. I had gained nearly 10kg than my weight before pregnancies.
Now, I take a vow to myself, to really workout and make myself look trim and fit.
- I started walking instead of taking the bus or auto wherever I was going alone (of course, only to places that are walkable for me). I couldn't have walked with one toddler holding my hand and other one in my hip. I don't remember when this exercise stopped or why it stopped.
- Somebody told having honey and lemon in warm water will help in reducing the fat. I sincerely did this till one fine day when I ran out of lemons.
- I joined swimming classes at my hubby's insistence. Basically, I was scared shit of water. So, all that did happen in that 15 days course was that the fear of water was reduced considerably. But swimming, that didn't happen at all. Look at my fate - when I paid a whopping 1000/- for 15 days course, I had to miss classes for 4 days due to my periods. So, only 11 days remained in my course. All I learnt was only to float.
- Srini used to take me to the paid pools during weekends, so that I can hone my swimming skills. That also stopped when we got a transfer.
- During the next 5 years, somehow this exercise fever evaded me. It was when we joined the club's health membership, that I started hitting the gym with a vengeance. And I was improving my swimming skills with Srini's help. Wow, the world looks great now.
- I had just started reducing a few kilos and then came the fast food giants to Hyderabad. Why should they open shop here and have all of us drooling over their menus ? KFC, Mac to name a few were the culprits behind my weight gain, AGAIN.
- Now, we had to shift to our own house, and going to the health club became a distant dream.
- As I meet more women in my apartment, who have undergone similiar experiences, regarding this monster Weight, I am happy to be having company. So, some of us started some workout routines, which ended in happy coffees, cakes, sandwiches and so on that the workout didn't have any effect at all.
- Then we took to yoga, the in thing now. We were all doing great yoga and we felt the difference in our body, but it hardly lasted for 2 months.
- Now, it is the turn of dancexercise. Even though the workouts are killing us, the joints are hurting, we know we're burning a lot of calories there. But, can we sustain this pain and gain from the calorie drain ? I really doubt it.

Now, what does all these trials tell me ? They are shouting at the top voice that I AM NOT COMMITTED. Because, if I've been committed to the weight loss program, I wouldn't have had Potato chips (my biggest weakness) or the cheesy fast foods. Whenever I am failing, I would have thought about it and found the reasons for my failure of the program.
The weight loss is never a cake walk, women. Think and choose the right weight loss program that suits your body and mind. You should be totally committed to the program. Ahhh! Talking about it is so easy. The difficulty is when you've to drag yourself through it.
So, help me God, to be more committed to the weight loss program, to stick to it (even during days of menstruation - these are my days when my program tends to fail) and to eat healthy.
Is weight loss a distant dream or a reality ?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am Tagged.

Tagged me ! Oh my God ! I really don't know how long this is going to take. And by the way, I also don't know anybody whom I can tag. May be in future.

1. I think I am the insect hunter for my family. From the time I got married, its been like - Uma, chase this cockroach away, by my husband - Mama, there's a lizard near the bathroom window.
How can I go in for a bath ?, by my daughter. So, its always me who has to hunt for the insect which is bothering my family members. I can hit them with a newspaper / broom / sandals anything that I can put my hand on.
2. The first one has lead to this. I am the brave hunter only till the insect has not tried jumping on me. When I was in my teens, we used to stay in the housing quarters provided to my father by the Telephones Department. Since there were lots of trees around, insects visiting us were also in plenty. Once, when I was least expecting, a tiny baby lizard just slipped from the roof and fell on my shoulder. I jumped, screamed, ran about the house - but nobody knew for what. All the others were laughing at me and trying to stop me. But, the thought of a lizard on me made my skin crawl with terror. Actually, the lizard had fallen off me when I had jumped first, which I came to know much later.
3. I am the official Electrician / Plumber / Wiring specialist after my marriage. I can do wiring for telephones, TV, Computers. Thank God, I did my Engineering.
4. In my parents family, I am the eldest daughter and I have a younger sister and a brother. Being the eldest has its own disadvantages and I really used to long for an elder brother. When I got married, it was a dream come true. I am the youngest daughter-in-law, with 2 elder brothers-in-law and an elder sister-in-law.
5. I am a very reserved person to begin with and it takes time for me to know people well. Once, the frequency matches, I go out of my way to make the relationship much better. But there is a negative side to me too - if I don't get along with a person I just start ignoring them. I can even look through them, sometimes.
6. I had a friend Susy, when I was doing a computer course with Aptech. And Susy had invited me along with few of her college friends for her birthday party. In the party, when she served us fruit punch, she was winking at each one of us and told us to enjoy the drink. None of us in our wild dreams would have imagined that she'll mix vodka in it. We were all behaving silly and laughing and Susy was having the last laugh at us. Thankfully, she dropped all of us home, to make sure we reach properly. I went home and hit the bed straight, scared to open my mouth. Next day in the class, when Susy explained herself, I was laughing at myself for being so stupid.
7. I started working when I was 18 yrs old. And I have to travel from Mylapore, my home, to Kodambakkam where my office was located. It is bus route 12B that connects me from home to office. Any time of the day, this bus is crowded and I really used to have difficult times travelling in that bus route. And in that bus route was a conductor whom I can remember very well, for his kind words. I used to look up to him because with a Masters in Chemistry, he was working as a bus conductor without any inhibitions. And the thought provoking conversations we had helped me to ease my travel tension. The one thing I am always reminded from that acquaintance was that educational qualifications and job positions never match in real life.
8. I have learnt the art of gift wrapping from a sweet soul in a small card shop, which me and my sister used to frequent during our teens. That person even taught us how to choose gifts, cards and I still thank him for that knowledge he imparted to me.
9. Because I chose to do Diploma in Engineering, I left my school after 10th and joined with the Diploma course. My sister was 2 classes younger than me in school (actually she is only 1 year 3 months younger). By the time, she came to 10th std, all the teachers started referring to her as Uma's sister. Even though, she did till her 12th in the same school, she was the School Captain, she was the top-scorer in 12th std, she is still referred to as Uma's sister. I am totally honored, even though she goes crazy sometimes.
10. My email inbox is always clean. All my mails are neatly sorted into various folders. "You are a perfectionist", says my hubby dear. I try to be perfect in everything I do, even everyday planning. There are lists on my fridge for things to buy, things to do, people to call. If its not written in the list, its stored as a reminder in my mobile. As I get very excited when I go for shopping or cooking for lot of people, these kind of lists help in keeping up the perfect angle in my life.
11. When me and Srini were engaged to be married, we had about 3 months time to prepare for the wedding. And both of us have roamed the whole city and had such wonderful time together. Our outings were sometimes totally silly - we watched Speed for 3 times, a tamil movie Sathi Leelavathi for 5 times, got totally wet in the rain on the lovely Elliots beach, had hot and spicy bajjis in the beach, crazily sped in the bike with the wind in my hair. Altogether I have done things that I never thought I would do.
12. I've won many a Bhagwad Gita Recitation Competitions while I was in school. Amazing, I can't believe it myself now.
13. I am sticker to time and I want people around me also to be like that. Only after shifting to Secunderabad, I've understood what low priority people give for punctuality. Sometimes, it is frustrating to wait.
14. I love Koffee with Karan in television. How many ever times it repeats, you can find me there to watch it. And not to forget, Oprah Winfrey show. That's my fav too.
15. Household chores - Are you not bored doing the same things everyday ? While I can possibly enjoy washing vessels, washing clothes, drying clothes, clearing up the dried vessels and folding
the dried clothes are not my cup of tea. I force myself to do those chores as the perfectionist in me pops up to find fault in others work.
16. I love walking in the rain and have done innumerable number of times while I was young. Which is the reason that my toe thumb nail was filled with dirt while I was young and I had to remove my toe thumb nail two times. I can still remember my scream in the doctor's clinic.
17. When I started baking, about 5 years back, I used to borrow a sand cooker from a neighbour to bake. The recipe also was shared by my wonderful neighbour. The recipe said, 200gms of flour, 200gms of butter and 200gms of sugar. And I measured equal amounts of flour, butter and sugar using a common cup to make the batter. The cake was a big flop. How stupid of me ! And it took me 3 to 4 trials to understand that 200gms of flour, sugar and butter is not 1 cup of each.
18. In my parents home, girls cutting their hair was considered as taboo and me and my sister were no exception. But, somebody told me that 3rd day after New Moon Day was the best day to cut / trim your hair and it will grow longer as the moon is growing. Now, me and my sister wanted to try it out. We locked ourselves in our room and I trimmed her hair, while she did for me. For the next 10 to 15 days we used to hold the end of hair in our hands while we walked inside the house (so that the trimming doesn't show), for the fear of getting caught by our elders.
19. I can never play games both in the mobile and in the computer, for which speed is the critical factor and that involves fast movements with your fingers. I try to play the ones that needs logical reasoning.
20. I hate these totally absurd ring tones which people set for their mobiles. Baby crying or laughing is one the silliest according to me. Some people even have this tone for car reverse music. That's totally absurd as people are shocked to hear it suddenly on roads.
21. I pride myself on the fact that I've tremendous control over food habits. I am off sweets, chocolates or anything with sugar. But, if there is one thing in this world, that I would sell my soul for, its POTATO CHIPS. Now, the whole world knows my secret.
22. There are so many little things that bring great pleasure to me. To name a few - a long drive in the car on a rainy day, crying silly at the end of a romantic movie with a happy ending, watching a fav movie first day first show, shop till I drop, coffee get-together with my friends, a good yoga workout, talking through the night with friend / sister / hubby, travelling to exotic places with romantic backdrops with Srini and how I wish that this list never ends.
23. I've always dreamt of having a super shaped body, to comfortably wear a great looking bikini.
24. I love doing kolams - as it is part of our everyday ritual. The ones with colours are my fav and I've won a few contests too in rangoli.
25. I read my first Sidney Sheldon book when I had just finished 10th std. It was "The other side of midnight". I can still remember my own shock when I read it. It was revelation and enlightenment at the same time.
Hurray ! I've done it. It took me nearly 3 hours to type all these down. I don't know whether they qualify for the Random Tag, but I've tried my best. Thanks Bins, for making me scratch my brain and do this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Abiyum Nanum - as I see it

A few days back, I watched the tamil movie "Abhiyum Nanum" (Me & Abhi). What an awesome movie! Its been a very long time (after the movie Mozhi), I felt so touched by a tamil movie.
Even though one can find similarities with the English movie Father of the Bride, Abiyum Nanum is class apart as far as the tamil movie audiences are concerned.

The simple tale of father-daughter relationship brings tears to the eyes in a lot of scenes. It shows how the fathers are in total admiration of their daughters and till the daughter gets married, even the wife has to take a seat back.

The story meanders around the likes and dislikes of the daughter, how she convinces her father
every time and how the father sheepishly admits finally that his daughter is always right.

When the daughter chooses to marry a Punjabi, the father is at the end of his wits. How can my
daughter choose this man ? What does she see in him ? How can she love him so much ? Why
is she not even looking at me when this Punjabi is around ?
Actually, it is not this particular man that the father is against. Any man his daughter chooses to
marry will have to face his bitter words to begin with. Till the father is really convinced that this
man is the right person for his daughter, mustard splutter from his face. Every dialogue,
scene that father-daughter duo enact deserves real good appreciation.

Fantastic direction, each scene better than the previous one, a must see for all men who love
their daughters more than their life.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Act of kindness

Its been in my thoughts for the past two days and its better I blog it down.
Two days back, me and Srini went to drop our daughters in the school. While coming back home, Srini asked me whether I would like to have breakfast in a hotel. I responded with a big smile, as I cherish these moments of togetherness.
After eating breakfast, when we were coming out of the hotel, suddenly Srini asked me to wait near the entrance and rushed inside. I was wondering what it could be that made him rush inside. Anyway, he came out and gave me a parcel, told that it was idly and sambar. He then asked me to give to the old lady who was sitting outside the hotel asking for alms.
I was pleasantly surprised and deeply touched with Srini's act of kindness.
This display of kindness made me think a lot. A simple act like giving food to one person is the best way to show "you care". It gave me so much satisfaction to see the happy smiling face of the old lady, who blessed me too. I feel that this kind act is much better, as the recognition is instantaneous.
May God give me and Srini the strength and the heart to perform many more acts of kindness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unforgettable day of my life

At last, I've found the courage to write about this. Its been 2 years that this incident happened in my home and now, I've decided to type it out. The reason being that letting it out will bring solace to my heart and soul.
We had shifted to our new flat in the May of 2006 and all the wood work were done by July end.
At this time, Srini got a Faber Chimney (Mesh type) and had it fixed. I was elated and proud
about my new home and it looked great.
It was the 25th of Dec, 2006 and I had my house full of people who had come for vacation - my
mother-in-law, my brother-in-law and family, my sister-in-law and family. Actually, I love having people around and I was sure that this vacation will be a memorable one.
My new maid of 1 month, was there to help me prepare breakfast. I told her to fry puris and I had just gone out of the kitchen to serve coffee for my in-laws and puris for kids. Everybody was so excited meeting with each other, the kids loved eating puris and even the elders were waiting to bite into breakfast. As the kids were finishing, I was calling all the others to join for breakfast.
Suddenly, from my living room, I could see flames from my oil pan and the chimney was fast
catching it, as the chimney was ON and it was sucking the fumes of oil. It was an accident, where
water from wet hands or whatever has sprayed on the hot oil and the result was total chaos. From a moment of happiness and laughter, we were all pushed into tears and sadness over the whole incident. All of us stood there watching helplessly, my chimney burn, melt and fall onto my gas stove beneath it. In a matter of 30 mins, nothing was left of the chimney and my gas stove also fell prey to this.
Here, I have to thank the three men, Srini, Ramesh anna (my brother-in-law), Govindarajan
athimber (my sister-in-law's husband), who stood like pillars of strength, especially for me. They cleaned up the kitchen which was totally filled with black soot, re-painted the kitchen walls, bought me a new gas stove and made many an effort to make me feel better. My heartfelt gratitude for these 3 strong men, who helped the whole family to have a good time together.
I wanted to talk about it, mainly cry about it to somebody. But I thought that it was better that the whole incident is forgotten about, and I carried on. But, I used to get disturbing dreams that something is burning. When we go out, I used to think that I've left something on my gas and it was burning.
I felt miserable with these disturbing thoughts. One side, my heart wants to forget the incident and on the other hand, I am getting these dreams. Oh God, what should I do?
In the month of April, I just happened to see a small white patch in my forehead. Everybody said that it was a sunburn. But it was the beginning of VITILIGO or LEUKODERMA. When Allopathy medicines didn't help, I sought the help of a homeopath. He was a Godsend to me. Whether he gave me good medicines or not, he counselled me very well. This person instructed me to talk about the chimney incident to as many people as possible. The more I talk about it, the less stressful I'll be. This stress on my unconscious mind had triggered this Vitiligo, which is basically melanin deficiency. And I started losing the colour of my skin in patches all over the body.
After his counselling, I've spoken to many a people about this and of course, I've taken
homeopathy medicines for one year and it did help me a lot. Now I am under Ayurveda
medication and I hope that it will help me to overcome this Vitiligo. I am healing a lot with this
ayurvedic medicines, thanks to the courage of my loved ones.
But more than all these medicines, the most important thing is always thinking good and positive about future. I've built upon my friends circle here, so that there is always somebody to whom I
can express my concerns and fears. I also try and keep myself busy, eventually not giving scope to the mind for unnecessary thoughts. I had gone for yoga classes for 4 months and the pranayams have really helped me heal. Now I am going for dancexercise classes. My idea is to join in group activities as they make you healthy in mind and body.
Thank you dear ones, for listening to me ! It made me feel better.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make your life worthy !

Today's newspaper carried an article in the Sunday magazine. It was a neatly written incident which emphasizes the fact that how working husband and wife are always on the run and don't even think of a hug for each other. Tears filled up my eyes while reading it and I could really sympathise with her situation.
This poses the million dollar question - should both husband and wife have a career for
themselves ? Yes, they both can have a career, provided they don't live with their in-laws and they don't have kids. They can enjoy their work and life. Credit should be given to those couples who are able to manage all these efficiently, but it does take a toll on the workload a person can handle. But couples living with kids, in-laws need to think about the need for both partners to be working.
What are we gaining or losing by this double salary ? While gaining is always on the materialistic things in life, these couples lose out on the simple joys of living.
How much money is good enough to run the household? The amount required increases with the salary increase. And people start going on crazy shopping spree, buying what all they like
instead of buying what they need. So, after sometime the house is full of junk which u like but
there is no need for it in your life. Is this the requirement for the double salary ?
What are these simple joys of living, which have been lost in the run for money ? A simple hug, a loving touch, a kiss on the cheek, kind word, to be there during the times of need, the first step / word of a baby and the list is endless. There are so many people in this career world who have not enjoyed some of these joys. And let me tell u, unless you have really experienced it first hand, the joy cannot be explained in words.
And for partners who work, please do take out time from the busy, regular routine and enjoy it
with the people you love and work for. It is not the matter of taking your children out to expensive shopping trips / restaurants. The most important thing is to know what's happening in their little lives. Talk with your loved ones, give them a hug whenever possible, pledge your love to them, tell them you'll be there for them.
This will make your life more happy and worthy to live.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Your wish will be granted !

This is amazing but true ! These true incidents which I want to share, have changed my thinking a lot. Let me explain these experiences first.
Srini, my wonderful husband, is so lovable, caring and a great person to be with. And he always
makes sure that our daughters get the quality time with him, even though the work pressure is
very high for him. But the past 1 year has been highly hectic for Srini and he was very much into official work all 24 * 7.
Even though he took great efforts to spend the same quality time with the girls, the workload was getting into his personal time also. When we did go out during weekends, Srini was constantly being called on the phone ( Dont u think that this mobile phone has snatched quality family moments from us ?). Even though the girls didnt mind or notice this, I was feeling very unhappy about the situation.
I wanted the situation to change - I wanted Srini to have more leisure time to spend with our girls, as it was before this high work pressure.
It was a Saturday and I was talking aloud my thoughts to my friend. I wished loudly ( for the whole world to hear ?) and prayed sincerely for it to happen.
Sunday morning - I got up early and had made idly, sambar and chutney for breakfast. I was
waiting for Srini and the girls to wake up so that we can have breakfast together.
MIRACLE - Srini wakes up, comes to me and says "If u have made breakfast, just pack it. Wake
up the girls, we're going for a long drive. We can stop the car on the way, and have breakfast in a
natural surrounding." I was so happy. I thanked the whole universe for listening to my loud wish which was granted to me in a day. Things have changed a lot after wishing aloud and I am happy to tell u that we have many quality family moments, as before.
2nd experience.
This is about a person who stays in my apartment. I know her for sometime. Whenever we meet, we used to talk well and share a lot of things. But because she's working, more interaction was not possible between us. Generally we meet during our evening walks.
But suddenly, I noticed a change in her. She was not talking to me like before. Even though this
didnt bother me so much, I really wished to know the reason behind this sudden change. And
surprisingly, I got a Hi5 request from her.
Now, I again did the same thing - I wished loudly for things to change.
MIRACLE - Two days later, I met her in a shop nearby, and she couldn't stop talking to me. She
went on and on about the things that are happenning and kindly enquired about me and my
family. I am happy and surprised.

What does these experiences teach me ? I thought so much and this is what I've realised :- When u wish aloud - it reaches to all the corners of this universe. And all the elements in this
universe and the people around u make it happen for u.
I think this is all to do with positive vibes around u. Instead of sulking about a situation and always talking about the wrong / bad things happening to u, talk about the change u wish for. Talk about the positive things that u want to happen in ur life. Talk loudly - either to yourself or find somebody to talk to. I can assure u that the whole world will conspire to grant u the wish.